Dee Delaney visited The Citadel this past weekend, touring the campus and talking to Bulldogs football players about what to expect.
The Whale Branch Early College High School wide receiver and defensive back doesn't have any experience with the military lifestyle. He wanted to be prepared.
Delaney was pleased with what he heard on his visit and in previous conversations with Bulldogs coaches. He committed to The Citadel after his visit and plans to make it official Feb. 6, National Signing Day.
The Football Championship Subdivision school offered the Warriors senior a full scholarship. Bulldogs coaches want him to play defensive back.
Whale Branch coach Jerry Hatcher said the school should be a good fit, once Delaney adjusts to cadet life.
"It's quality football," Hatcher said. "That's as good as it gets at the (FCS) level."
Delaney was a North-South selection at receiver and forced opposing defenses to scheme for him. The Citadel wants his ball skills at safety, and coaches liked what they saw on video when Delaney came up to the line to stop the run.
Delaney will be joined by Warriors teammate Trey Nelson, who has a spot in the Bulldogs locker room as a walk-on. Whale Branch linebacker Tyrik Spicer plans to play for Edward Waters College, an NAIA school in Jacksonville, Fla.
Before committing, Delaney visited Presbyterian College, where he also had an offer. Coaching changes at Georgia State and Charleston Southern cooled the interest on both sides.
Delaney was sold on The Citadel's academics and the regimented lifestyle. He said players told him the experience improved after the first year.
Citadel coach Kevin Higgins asked Delaney during an in-home visit whether Delaney thought he could handle the adjustment. Delaney said yes.
"They told me it's not as bad as people make it seem," Delaney said. "After the first year, it's like any other school. You have to do the same things the average student do."
Delaney also expects to get a shot at returning punts and kicks, where he excelled at Whale Branch. He has worked with cousin Tremel Kline, a former Division-I recruit out of Battery Creek, on his skills as a defensive back.
Kline, a receiver who signed with South Carolina but did not qualify, attended Delaney's visit to Presbyterian and traveled to watch his cousin in the North-South game in Myrtle Beach. Kline told Delaney to go where Delaney wanted and not always listen to the crowd.
The pair originally worked to build Delaney into a receiver and now will work on Delaney's coverage skills in the defensive backfield. Delaney feels good about his chance of getting on the field in the fall.
"I just have to come to the system ready and prepared to be more physical," Delaney said.
AREA FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS
Dee Delaney, Whale Branch WR/DB -- The Citadel
Michael Julian, Hilton Head High QB Toledo
Jamario Williams, Hilton Head Christian WR -- Wofford
Tyrik Spicer, Whale Branch, LB -- Edward Waters
*National Signing Day is Feb. 6